15 January 2013
So, two crazy females who were willing to sleep outdoor and three furious males made their way to Bambangan, Purbalingga. They were Eva, Olipe, Isro, Dodo, and Aji.
Didn’t get a dome tent, we decided to keep going. We craved to see the stars in their best radiance. It was new moon, the sky would be darker and the stars might look brighter. If we hiked up to the field near the base camp of Mount Slamet, we could see the Milky Way clearly as well.
We planned to camp on the field and hiked up to the first shelter immediately before it’s getting dark, but the rain didn’t compromise. We finally decided to stay for a while on the base camp. Drinking coffee, eating mie ayam (=chicken noodle), and talking about the plan B and C since the rain seemed hadn’t wanted to stop soon.
Plan B: hike up at 8 PM and stay on the field, then go to the first shelter at 2 AM.
Plan C: sleep until midnight and hike up directly to the first shelter.
Plan B failed. We would execute plan C, so we set our sleeping positions and fell asleep (later than we expected because some other crazy guys were singing and playing guitar abnormaly loud till 11 PM).
Woke up at midnight, we were getting ready to walk the trail to our starry night euphoria. We followed Isro walked through a new trail with flashlights on. We didn’t know that the trail led us into an awesome bushwhacking adventure, more than just hiking.
As Isro walked so fast, Dodo was so exhausted because he carried heavy photography equipments on his backpack. Olipe asked Isro to slow down and wait for us a bit. I wore wrong pair of shoes. The rain made the trail slippery, my shoes made it worse. Even my friends were slipped though they wore trekking shoes and sandals. Aji switched his backpack with Dodo. Maybe they thought because Aji’s younger, he could carry more. Hahaha…
We stopped to share mineral water right after we realized that we were lost. I remembered that we haven’t prayed together. I was in doubt to tell them, but gratefully Aji reminded us to pray. Then we took time to pray before we proceeded. I asked for God’s guidance so we wouldn’t meet any complicated problems because the fog started to spread all over the valley.
We got lost three times before we decided to go back (and found the way back) to the first gate where the old trail was. We sat a little while near the river. The “shadow trail” we passed sucked our energy badly. Olipe, Dodo, and Aji hiked up first. Isro and I decided to go back to the basecamp after we walked half way from the field where we can see the stars clearer.
I got silly mood swing, but I learned how we depend on each other in this kind of circumstances. We must discuss everything before we decided. One person disagreed, everyone should re-consider the plan. No one can be selfish and only think about himself/herself. We must help each other, support each other, and have big hearts to get through everything together.
It was really a thrilling experience for me, maybe for us all. There was a myth of demons’ market on Mt. Slamet. People say that once we entered the market, we won’t be able to go back or will meet a lot of troubles or even haunted. And we were almost got there! I thought I was the only one who heard noisy crowd the second time we got lost, but Isro did too. We also saw the same standing white big guy that eventually disappear in the misty trail. Dodo saw the tall female ghost which I caught peeking us behind a tree. Believe it or not, we were saved because we prayed for God’s protection.
Olipe, Dodo, and Aji came back to the basecamp with a story of a picnic in windy stormy rain. Dodo even slept peacefully while Olipe and Aji were shivering because of the low temperature. They didn’t witness any stunning sunrise, but welcomed the morning with a beautiful rainbow. It’s like a brand new hope after a terrible chaos.
We packed up and rode our motorbikes to Serang, had breakfast and enjoyed the mountain breeze. Though we were extremely tired, we promised that we would go for more adventures together. Can’t wait!